Steamboat girls soccer loses to Glenwood Springs |

Steamboat girls soccer loses to Glenwood Springs

Jeff Caspersen / Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs junior Wilber Ranieri faces off against Glenwood Springs junior Hunter Brown during Tuesday’s game in Glenwood Springs. Steamboat beat Glenwood

— As the 4A Western Slope League girls soccer season nears its end, one thing is growing increasingly clear: It's Glenwood Springs' title to lose.

A 5-1 win against visiting Steamboat Springs on Thursday further cleared the Demons' path to a third straight league crown.

Glenwood seemingly could do no wrong against the Sailors, surging into the lead early.

The Demons put the first goal on the board less than one minute into the night's proceedings. Lilly McSwain finished it, converting a cross from Jackie Knott.

Corey Gera pushed the Demons' lead to 2-0 early in the 29th minute, burying a liner off an assist from Jenna Brown.

Then, roughly eight minutes later, Knott rolled a short pass to Michaela Mansfield, who put in a shot from inside the 18-yard box.

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"In the first half, they were extremely sharp," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "I think that first half, a lot of it was about Glenwood and not necessarily about us. … A couple of those quick combinations Glenwood had, that's difficult to defend."

McSwain's early goal certainly did wonders for Glenwood.

"Definitely," Mansfield said. "That always lifts you up when you score really early. It definitely brought our team up and gave us an advantage mentally."

The Demons didn't relent in the second half.

Scores by Knott and Mansfield flanked a goal by Steamboat's Sydney Bauknecht to round out the final count.

Mansfield's strike was assisted by Holly Brown and Knott's by Mansfield.

"Steamboat's a quality team," said Glenwood coach Steve White, whose side fought to a 3-all draw against the Sailors in Steamboat on April 7. "They absolutely bring it every time. I just think we had an exceptional game tonight."

With five games remaining, including four league contests, the Demons sit at 7-1-2 overall and 7-0-1 in conference play. No other team has fewer than two league defeats, putting Glenwood in prime position for a three-peat.

The Sailors (9-3-1 overall, 6-3-1 in league play) enter their late spring break fighting for their postseason lives.

"I think we're fighting for a playoff spot," Bohlmann said. "So we do have a lot to play for. It's untimely, heading into spring break right now, but at the end of the game, we addressed the group that, in the second half, our ability to respond from the first-half situation was really positive and encouraging. That's the mentality we have to take into the final week."

Next up for Steamboat is a May 1 trip to Battle Mountain. The Sailors will close out the season at home against Palisade on May 4.

Glenwood heads to Delta on Saturday.

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